The Slatest

Chaos Broke Out the Last Time the Texas Senate Debated Abortion. Will History Repeat Itself Tonight?

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) sits at her desk on the first day of the second legislative special session on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas

Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

The more exciting—and absurd!—action may very well be taking place on in the galleries, but you can follow along below as Texas Republicans try again to push through the sweeping abortion restrictions that were temporarily derailed late last month by Wendy Davis. It may prove to be another late night in Austin, but barring something totally unexpected it appears as though there’s nothing Davis and her liberal allies will be able to do this time around to prevent the bill’s passage. Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t try.


For those who need it, the Texas Tribune has a refresher on the four main abortion-restricting provisions in the package:

It would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain; require doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the abortion facility; require doctors to administer the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 in person, rather than allowing the woman to take it at home; and require abortions — including drug-induced ones — to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers.

The House has already passed the bill, meaning the looming Senate vote is the only thing standing in the way from it reaching the desk of Gov. Rick Perry, who quickly called the current 30-day special session in the wake of Democrats’ unexpected Davis-led June victory. Once the bill becomes law, the Lone Start State will be the twelfth to ban abortion at some point in the second trimester, before a fetus is viable. Whether those laws survive looming legal challenges, however, remains to be seen.